280. Putty Tat Trouble – Friz Freleng

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: Tweety is pursued by two rival cats during one icy winter day.

WHY IT’S HERE:I’m not the biggest fan of Friz Freleng’s generally quite repetitive Tweety and Sylvester series of cartoons but ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ is definitely an exception. This is partially due to the fact that this short was regularly shown at Christmas and is therefore linked to some warm and cosy memories of childhood but it’s also because ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ is undoubtedly one of the best Tweety and Sylvester cartoons. It is the presence of a scraggy orange cat as a rival for Sylvester that really gives ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ a shot in the arm. Rather than just having a bulldog occasionally wander in and clobber him, Sylvester is pitted against an equal force in terms of brains and brawn. This sets in motion a high speed pursuit/tug of war that continues throughout the whole cartoon which makes for a pacier experience than the usual pattern of blackout gags. For the most part, Tweety is little more than a baton being passed from cat to cat, a motive to trigger off a brutal war between the two felines. With its attractive snowy scenery and speedy narrative, ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ is a lovely cartoon to look at and the furious pace (which only breaks for a cutesy conversation between Tweety and a toy drinking bird) means that any weak or predictable gags aren’t so problematic because we move so quickly onto the next one. ‘Putty Tat Trouble’ improves upon a rapidly wearing formula simply by throwing in an extra antagonist, a decision which results in a fast-moving, exciting and funny cartoon.

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